In a previous interview, VSS Mani revealed that when he first arrived to establish Just Dial, he had only Rs 50,000 with him.
VSS Mani, the founder of Just Dial, embarked on his entrepreneurial journey in 1996. At the age of 29, he made an initial investment of Rs 50,000 to launch the company. Remarkably, Just Dial was established before the emergence of Google, earning it the title of the Indian counterpart to the internet giant.
In 2021, Just Dial was acquired by Reliance, owned by Mukesh Ambani.
Before starting Just Dial, VSS Mani was employed at United Database, a yellow pages company. His initial concept was to make the process more convenient and accessible by utilizing telephones.
Prior to founding Just Dial, VSS Mani attempted to launch a company called Ask Me. However, the venture didn’t succeed as phones were not as readily accessible during that time.
During an interview, VSS Mani once shared the remarkable story of how he became a millionaire within a few weeks.
In 1999, VSS Mani was approached by a company led by an Indian entrepreneur who proposed offering him cash in exchange for a portion of his own company. Intrigued by the opportunity, Mani consulted his chartered accountant to determine the value of his company. To his disappointment, the chartered accountant estimated its net worth to be only around Rs 15-20 lakh.
When approached by the prospective investor, VSS Mani requested them to propose a figure they were willing to pay. Expressing his own interest, Mani stated his willingness to accept a couple of million dollars. Eventually, the deal was successfully closed at a valuation close to 3 million dollars. This significant transaction catapulted Mani into the millionaire club, merely three years after founding his company.
VSS Mani was born in Jamshedpur and spent his formative years in Calcutta. Despite starting his educational journey in college, he eventually dropped out.
In 2021, Reliance Retail acquired 67 percent of Just Dial, which included the shares owned by VSS Mani. According to reports, Reliance paid Rs 2,165 crore for the newly acquired shares, Rs 1,332 crore for Mani’s stake, and an additional Rs 2,200 crore for the open offer. With a valuation of Rs 8,500 crore, Reliance paid a total of Rs 5,700 crore to obtain the majority stake. However, as of yesterday, the company’s value on the stock markets was recorded at Rs 6,575 crore.
VSS Mani currently holds the positions of Managing Director and CEO at Justdial.
In a previous interview, VSS Mani shared that when he arrived in Mumbai to establish Just Dial, he had a mere Rs 50,000 at his disposal. To bootstrap the business, he relied on borrowed furniture, rented computers, and operated with a team of only five employees.
According to Moneycontrol, in the last financial year, Just Dial recorded a revenue of Rs 986.67 crore and a profit of Rs 162.92 crore.